Women using rollers, wondering Ways to Use a Roller.

5 Ways to Use a Roller for Muscle Relaxation and Better Sleep

Stress and fatigue can cause painfully tight muscles. Trigger points, the points where the muscles are contracted the tightest, won’t go away unless they are released. If not released, this can cause ongoing pain as well as terrible bouts of insomnia. One way to release a trigger point is to use a roller. Here are five ways to use a roller to relax muscles and sleep better.

The Upper and Middle Back

While lying on the floor, place the roller beneath the shoulder blades. Move the hands under the head, supporting the neck. Roll back and forth on the roller, allowing it to ease the sore back muscles.

The Neck 

While lying on the floor, put the roller under the neck. With the roller acting as support, move the head horizontally back and forth to release the painful muscles in the neck.

The Shoulders

While kneeling, place the roller in front of the body. Put hands on the roller and move the whole upper body forward, keeping knees in place. This position can release pain in the shoulder and upper back area.

The Hamstrings

Sit with the right leg extended and resting on the foam roller. Raise the body up using the arms (keep arms positioned just behind the body for support). Roll the leg, from bottom to the knee area, to release pain and tension. Repeat on other side.

The Thighs

With body facing the ground, use the arms as support while resting the thighs on the foam roller. Lift gently upwards, making a pulling motion with arms and core muscles. This motion will bring direct contact with sore thigh muscles and will help address pain in this area effectively.

Better sleep is often a challenge for many people, but the simple fact is that improved sleep may begin with feeling better physically. The exercises listed above will allow you to soothe those painful areas so that you can finally get a peaceful night of rest.

If your pain persists, Alliance Spine and Pain Centers is here to help! Call for a consultation today at 770-590-1078 or click here to schedule an appointment.

An elderly man swimming, wondering about the swimming exercises for a sore back here.

5 Swimming Exercises for a Sore Back

Swimming and water exercises can help people with acute or chronic back pain in their fitness journey without placing stress on the back. Swimming is low impact, does not involve weights, and the water provides active resistance, making the exercise more effective. Not all exercises are equal, even in the pool. Focus your efforts on these five swimming exercises for a sore back here.

1. Flutter Kicking

This is something you probably did when you were learning to swim. Hold onto the side of the pool and gently scissor kick. You can do this face down with your body parallel to the pool floor. Afterward, flip over and pull your legs up towards the surface of the water for a brief stretch.

2. Pelvic Stretch

Stand with your feet on the floor of the pool and your back facing the wall. Have your arms hanging relaxed in the water. Slowly tuck in your tailbone and pelvis in until your back rounds out. The goal of this movement is to feel like your back is parallel to the wall of the pool by pulling in your abs and pushing your hips forward. Hold for a few seconds and then release.

3. Knee Stretch

Move to the shallow end of the pool for this exercise. Stand with your feet planted on the floor and your arms relaxed at your sides. Start to march in place. With each lift, pull your knee closer to your chest while maintaining your balance in the pool. As your back gets stronger, try pulling each leg to waist level without bending your knees.

4. Pool Planks

You’ll need a pool noodle or something similar to do this routine. Hold the noodle in front of you and then lean forward in the water keeping your back straight. Push down on the noodle to submerge it as you lean further forward to form a semi-plank. Keep your elbows locked. and your feet anchored to the pool floor to maintain your balance during the move. Hold the plank for up to 60 seconds.

5. Pool Push Ups

A push-up is one of the best ways to strengthen your back and core. You can modify this move during your swim to get the same benefits. Start in the shallow end of the pool facing the wall and your feet on the floor. Place your hands on the pool edge. Press your body weight through your hands and lower yourself towards the wall as you arms bend at the elbow. Hold for three seconds and then push off the wall to return to your starting position.

Start slow and build the number of repetitions as your back gets stronger. If you have any questions about your back pain or need further evaluation, give us a call at 770-590-1078 for more information or click here if you have anymore questions about swimming exercises for a sore back.

Cardio Training Can Help Manage Your Pain

Pain can be caused by a number of problems and conditions, and many of them can be eased with regular cardio exercise. For many conditions, such as arthritis and other joint pain, stiffness is often a major contributor to the pain. With exercise on a regular basis, some of that stiffness can be alleviated. The movement of the joints with cardio activity can relieve both stiffness and inflammation, thus leading to a reduction in your pain.

Conditions like fibromyalgia cause consistent pain and fatigue, but staying still isn’t the answer. For those with fibromyalgia, being sedentary can make the symptoms worse. Getting a cardio workout every day can ease symptoms, help with stiffness, and help control the weight gain that often causes more complications. Walking at a mild to moderate pace is a helpful exercise for those with this condition.

Learn what cardio training can help manage your pain!

Start Slowly

One reason that you may have avoided cardio is because your pain has prevented you from wanting to try it. If you aren’t used to working out and start with vigorous exercises, you may pull a muscle or injure yourself. The best practice is to start at a slow pace and work your way to a faster one. Walking is a perfect exercise for many people because it is relatively low impact and can be done indoors or outdoors. Work up to brisk walking and then power walking to keep raising your heart rate as your workouts progress.

Know Your Limitations

Back pain, knee pain, and other forms of pain that can make exercise difficult and make it harder to get in a good workout. However, there are other low impact ways to get in a cardio workout outside of walking. Working out in a pool can help to raise your heart rate and fight pain without making joints ache. There are also exercise machines like gliders that don’t rely on stepping movements. If you have mobility problems, consider using workout equipment that allows you to sit. Even try doing aerobic moves on the floor. If you are moving, you are improving no matter what kind of exercise you are doing.

Keep It Up

It may take time to find the exercise pace and time frame that will best help with your pain. If you don’t notice a difference after a few sessions, try a faster pace or add a few more minutes to your workout. Try different exercises to keep yourself interested in moving and willing to work out regularly.

Need help determining your workout routine while managing your pain? At Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, we are proud to take a comprehensive and highly progressive approach to healing and pain management that allows us to treat each patient’s pain effectively. To learn more about methods to reduce pain, give us a call at 770-590-1078 or visit us here to schedule a pain management consultation if you have anymore questions about what cardio training can help manage your pain

Seniors doing yoga, one of the examples of 5 Exercises Seniors Can Do to Stay Loose.

5 Exercises Seniors Can Do to Stay Loose

Seniors face unique challenges when it comes to staying fit, but remaining active is critical if you want to avoid painful, age-related illnesses like osteoarthritis. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to feel energetic, to control pain, and to improve your memory no matter what your age. These are five exercises seniors can do to stay loose.

Yoga for Core Strength

Yoga is a practical choice for people of all ages, but especially seniors. It works the core muscles while helping to improve balance and overall range of motion. Go online to watch a video or read how to do the poses then put together your own routine based on what you need.

Arm Raises

Start by standing or sitting with your arms at your side. Lift them both up to shoulder height and hold there for a count of five. Turn the palms up slowly to face the ceiling and then lift your arms over your head. It should feel like you are trying to touch the sky. Hold for another five count and then return them to the starting position. Do up to three sets of 8 to 12 raises. As you get stronger, add some weights to make the exercise more challenging.

Leg Raises

For the leg raises, you are going to want to stand with one hand planted firmly on the back of a chair to maintain your balance. Lift the opposite leg out to the side 10 times. Lift that same leg backward for another 10. Now switch hands and repeat the back lift with the other leg and then do the side raises.

Room Walks

You probably think of walking as something you must go outside to do, but why not tour your home instead of the local park. Walk around the room, or the entire house, doing laps to get your exercise. Challenge yourself by increasing the number of laps you do over time and by adding some weights to your routine. If your home has stairs, take advantage of that incline for a little extra burn.

Light Weights

Building muscle tone is essential if you want to stay loose and flexible. Start with something light, like two pounds, and do arm lifts. Invest in some ankle weights too for lower body strength training. Once you find you can do the full range of motion easily with one weight, go to something heavier like four or five pounds.

It is normal to stiffen up as you get older but don’t use that as an excuse to stop exercising. Lack of exercise just increases your pain, so start slow but get moving again. At Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, we are proud to take a comprehensive and highly progressive approach to wellness and pain management that allows us to treat each patient’s pain effectively. Give us a call at 770-590-1078 or click here to schedule a consultation if you have any more questions about five exercises seniors can do to stay loose.

Two doctors shaking hands.

Pain Solution Treatment Centers Joined with Alliance

Alliance Spine and Pain Centers is delighted to announce that Pain Solutions Treatment Centers has joined our practice.  This exciting union means that Alliance now offers patients even more convenient, innovative, and expert care.

Now the largest interventional pain management practice in the Southeast, Alliance offers patients the choice of visiting any of 20 locations across Atlanta, Northwest Georgia and Augusta.   Click on our locations to find one near you, request an appointment on-line, or call our customer care center to find out how  Alliance Spine and Pain Centers will help you get your life back.